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Herbert Spencer (27 April 1820 -- 8 December 1903) was an English philosopher, biologist, sociologist, and prominent classical liberal political theorist of the Victorian era.
Spencer developed an all-embracing conception of evolution as the progressive development of the physical world, biological organisms, the human mind, and human culture and societies. As a polymath, he contributed to a wide range of subjects, including ethics, religion, anthropology, economics, political theory, philosophy, biology, sociology, and psychology. During his lifetime he achieved tremendous authority, mainly in English-speaking academia. In 1902 he was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature. Indeed, in the United Kingdom and the United States at "one time Spencer's disciples had not blushed to compare him with Aristotle!"
He is best known for coining the concept "survival of the fittest", which he did in Principles of Biology (1864), after reading Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species. This term strongly suggests natural selection, yet as Spencer extended evolution into realms of sociology and ethics, he also made use of Lamarckism.
The Story of Philosophy: the Lives and Opinions of the Greater Philosophers is a book by Will Durant that profiles several prominent Western philosophers and their ideas, beginning with Plato and on through Friedrich Nietzsche. Durant attempts to show the interconnection of their ideas and how one philosopher's ideas informed the next.
Philosophers profiled are, in order: Plato, Aristotle, Francis Bacon, Baruch Spinoza, Voltaire (with a section on Rousseau), Immanuel Kant (with a section on Hegel), Arthur Schopenhauer, Herbert Spencer, and Friedrich Nietzsche.
The final two chapters are devoted to European and then American philosophers. Henri Bergson, Benedetto Croce, and Bertrand Russell are covered in the tenth, and George Santayana, William James, and John Dewey are covered in the eleventh.